Read Zechariah 9:1-17
A donkey is not the kind of animal that commands respect. Its appearance often causes people to use words like “cute” rather than “powerful.” Its braying often evokes laughter instead of fear. Those realities make it an unusual mount for the One described in verse 9.
Equally surprising is this One mounted on the donkey. He is elsewhere described as a “man of sorrows” (Isa. 53:3). There was nothing about His physical appearance that set Him apart from the crowd (Isa. 53:2). But He was unique. He was unique in the compassion He demonstrated towards others. He was distinctive in His teaching and in His ability to perform miracles. He was a one of a kind in the fact that He associated with people of no or low reputation.
Many didn’t like what they saw. Wanting to be ruler of their own lives, they rejected Him as King. Hating those of reputation with whom He spent time, they could not recognize their own sin. Staunch in their own self-righteousness, they failed to see Him as Savior. As a result, they despised and rejected Him (Isa. 53:3). Had they seen Him on the donkey, they would have chuckled.
You have to admit, the contrast is almost humorous…The Creator of the universe riding on a donkey? The Savior of the world on the back of a burro? It was a contrast that defied logic.
But some people seemed to have recognized it for what it was. They laid down articles of clothing. They waved palm branches. They shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9)
It is that latter group that we are part of. We see Him for the person He is. We recognize His humility and appreciate it. We witness His compassion and seek to reflect it. We understand His love for sinners and bask in it. We hear the authority of His teaching and submit to it. We picture our King on a donkey, and we celebrate it.
“Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!”